Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 36776936
Link to DOI – 10.1016/j.isci.2023.106124
iScience 2023 Feb; (): 106124
While tocilizumab treatment in severe and critical COVID-19 patients has proven its efficacy at clinical level, there is little evidence supporting the effect of short-term use of IL-6 receptor blocking therapy on the B cell sub-populations and the cross-neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 variants in convalescent COVID-19 patients. We performed immunological profiling of 69 tocilizumab-treated and non-treated convalescent COVID-19 patients in total. We observed that SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG1 titers depended on disease severity but not on tocilizumab-treatment. The plasma of both treated and non-treated patients infected with the ancestral variant exhibit strong neutralizing activity against the ancestral virus, Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2, while the Gamma and Omicron virus were less sensitive to seroneutralization. Overall, we observed that, despite the clinical benefits of short-term tocilizumab therapy in modifying the cytokine storm associated with COVID-19 infections, there were no modifications in the robustness of B-cell and IgG responses to Spike antigens.